President Shimon Peres..
(photo credit: Mark Neiman/GPO)
President Shimon Peres relayed a message of well-wishes on Thursday to the Iranian people ahead of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, which falls on Friday.
"Dear Iranian citizens, in every place where you are found, Happy Nowruz," the venerated Israeli president said in the official language of Iran during a special video interview with Israel Radio Farsi.
Peres's holiday wishes were transmitted to various radio stations and Internet outlets in the Islamic Republic.
Nowruz is celebrated on the Spring Equinox, and marks the beginning of the solar, Islamic calendar.
The secular holiday is celebrated across Iran by an array of faiths and is not exclusive to religious groups. It has been commemorated for thousands of years.
"Let's have a year of silence and peace, and forget war and threatening - we can do it and we have to do it," he urged to Iran's citizens in the broadcast.
"The Jewish people, and the Persian people - the Iranian people - have a very long history, and we're going to have a longer future. Our history is a happy history, the relation between your people and our people are more than good," Peres said.
He continued by recounting events in Jewish and Persian history, pointing out similarities between the two nations.
"Actually, your great king Cyrus was really the man, the leader that called the Jewish people to come back, and go back, to their land, to Israel. This was the first return of the Jewish people to their old home. We shall never forget it," he said. "We are old cultures, we learn history, we make history, we will respect history and we have a heritage of values. We are not just two business people - we are two nations that respect culture, that respect human dignity that call to live in peace and understanding."
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